Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Obama Swag

Amsterdam & 107th St.

I was in my car tonight and pulled up behind a cab at a red light.  A hooded black youth walking a pit bull mix crossed between my car and the cab.  He squatted down behind the taxi as it was stopped and appeared to be fiddling with the bumper.  No doubt defacing a license plate thought I--though I am not proud to admit this.  Once he rose again and walked away, he revealed a freshly posted "Obama '08" bumper sticker on the back of the cab.  While I didn't necessarily approve of his campaign tactics, I had to admire his nerve.  

Once the light changed, I pulled up along the sidewalk, rolled down my window and called out to him "Hey, can I get one of those?"  He stopped, looked at me and said "A bumper sticker?"
"Yeah," I said. 
"You saw who it was for, right?" he asked, almost shocked I could be interested in the same candidate.  
"Yeah," I replied, "I cast my vote this morning."
"Oh, cool man.  Here, I'll give you the small one, too.  I only got one left."
"I'll take whatever you got."
"Okay.  Here." He said and unloaded a couple of pamphlets along with the stickers into my car window.  I thanked him and was on my way.  

As I continued up Amsterdam I couldn't help but think that this little exchange with this stranger was the perfect metaphor for the Obama campaign.  One in which "we're choosing unity over division." 

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At 10:02 AM, Blogger Diane said...

Okay, here's my Obama unity story. I was taking the subway to the Upper East Side to get my hair done -- an expensive process that makes my hair blonder than it is naturally. I got out downtown to switch to the 4/5 train and as I was walking through the underground maze (through a SEA of Giants fans!), two kids fell in behind me -- I'd say about 19-22 years old. They were talking about feeling disenfranchised -- or at least one was -- "Did you SEE what they did in 2000? Dude, he WON Florida, and they still took it away from him. And then that swiftboat crap in the last election? I'm done with this country!" It was like a script from an after school special about doing your civic duty! I was dying to turn around and tell this kid "you have to vote for Obama! he will change this country -- especially for you!" but I held my tongue, partly because I didn't want to violate the unspoken rule in the subway to act as if you hear nothing. Then his friend says "Dude -- you gotta vote for Obama!" at which point I couldn't contain myself anymore. I turned around and said to this young man with a do-rag and his jeans hung low around his hips, "Yes! You have to vote for Obama! We can change this country -- especially if everyone who feels like you do goes out and votes for Obama!" They both looked at me a little shocked and then his friend said "See? Even Hillary's voting for Obama!" I laughed at this, and so did they. If it weren't for what Obama is doing, we would never had spoken to eachother. There is definitely something in the air.

At 11:12 AM, Blogger judy said...

I loved your story, Michael, but I must say Diane's story is hilarious! You may have to know Diane to appreciate how funny this story really is. For those of you who don't, she is a petite blonde with a forceful personality and strong opinions. It's amazing how quickly the dude sized her up. Great stories.


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